LC Budget OK

Conservative budget ends with increase in revenues

Tammy Cheek-News-Herald

Lenoir City started with a conservative budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, and it paid off.

The city ended with a $233,067 increase in revenues, and it was $188,443 under budget, according to the document Lenoir City Council amended Monday.

With the city ending the fiscal year, the approved amendments reflect changes in revenues and expenses its offices made during 2010-11.

Unlike municipalities that make amendments each month, Lenoir City makes its changes once a year after the audit is concluded, City Administrator Dale Hurst said. The fiscal 2010-11 year ended June 30.

"The amended budget shows what was actually done," he said. "We had some revenue increases and had some expenditure decreases."

"The pool revenue is up substantially," Eddie Simpson, council member, pointed out before he made the motion to approve the amendments. Revenues from the Lenoir City Pool went from $15,000 to $46,236.

Simpson's motion was approved unanimously.

"It was a conservative budget," Hurst said Tuesday. "During a recession, you don't know where your revenues are going."

He explained the council looked at the previous year's actual budget figures to come up with the 2010-11 budget.

Among the increases to revenues, the hotel/motel tax saw a $7,913 increase, liquor licenses revenues increased by $2,550 and peddlers' permits revenues increased by $120, according to the approved amendments.

Of the items listed on the expenditures side, legislative appropriations were under budget by $2,163, as were the city attorney costs, which came in under budget by $3,918.

On the other hand, there were some increases to expenses. Among those were the city court's expenses, increased by $8,715, bringing the budget from $151,755 to $160,470, city executive appropriations increased by $1,857 and financial administration increased by $429.

On another financial matter, the council approved bids on fire department breathing apparatus and turnout gear that were recommended by the council's purchasing committee and Fire Chief Richard Martin.

The council gave the fire department the green light Sept. 26 to seek bids for a self-contained breathing apparatus and turnout gear, which are being partially funded by a 2010 Federal Emergency Management Agency Assistance to Firefighters grant.

While the total budget for the equipment is $60,750, FEMA is paying $57,713 and the city is expected to pay $3,037, according to Kelli Johnson of FEMA in an email to the chief. The chief said the grant request was originally for $65,000, which was based on last year's prices for those items, but FEMA reduced the amount, and the fire department agreed to that reduction.

Martin said the bids were opened Oct. 6. According to the bids sheets, MES bid $29,469 for the the breathing apparatus and EVS Midsouth bid $29,767.92. Bids for the turnout gear were as follows: EVS Midsouth, $43,163.09; G&C Supply, $37,941.75; and Nafeco, $35,515.80.

The chief recommended breaking down the bids and accepting Nafeco's bid on the turnout coats, pants and suspenders, which amounts to $24,343.95, and G&C for the helmet, boots, gloves, hoods and gear bags, amounting to $10,191.75. He explained G&C was the only bidder to meet the specifications for those items.

He also recommended the MES bid on self-contained breathing apparatus.

While the total recommendation on the bids came in $4,007.70 over budget, the council approved Martin's recommendation.